IPL 2022 | Sending Ravichandran Ashwin to bat at No. 3 was a bizarre move, notes Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar has criticized the Rajasthan Royals’ decision to send Ravichandran Ashwin to bat at No.3, saying it was a very bizarre tactic from the players. He further added that there was no need to execute such a weird move and sending Sanju Samson would have been the best option for the franchise.

The Rajasthan Royals have been a strong team in the IPL 2022, winning three out of five matches and placing third in the points table. The team has a strong bowling unit and a brilliant higher order. However, the team lost to Gujarat Titans by 37 points while chasing a huge goal of 193 in their last match.

RR pitched first and the opposition scored 192/4 thanks to an unbeaten 87 run from Hardik Pandya. Chasing the target, RR lost Devdutt Padikkal in the second set of innings and they sent Ravichandran Ashwin beat at No. 3 to everyone’s surprise. The move didn’t go over well for the team as Ashwin was sent back to the clubhouse with a score of 8. Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that there was no need to make such a surprise and that it was a bizarre tactic.

“Especially when Sanju Samson is the next guy, you didn’t like him at #4, but then you had Yashasvi Jaiswal, but you dropped him. You had the option to send Samson to No. 3 with Buttler as he was. I can figure something out of the box, pinch when there are two steady hitters. But Buttler was in hell for leather, but then you send Ashwin. It was a weird move. I think Ashwin was sent in as a hitter but it wasn’t necessary because you do that when the score is 215-220 and you’re slightly doubting your ability to score that quickly so you need someone ‘one to place the spade among the pigeons,” Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo’s “T20 Time Out.”

Jos Buttler was playing with aggressive intent from the tee ball in the innings. He made 54 runs from just 24 balls at a massive strike rate of 225. Manjrekar believes the move could have sent a message to the opposition that they are unsure of the score.

“But with Buttler the way he started it wasn’t necessary and you also send a message to the opposition that you’re not sure about the score that we need to try something drastically different plus the fact that ‘a wicket going down, there’s something psychological about that. I think it was a ridiculous decision,’ he said.

RR will play their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.

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